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Old 04-22-2023, 09:04 AM   #1
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How do I check if my solar trickle charger is working?

I have a small trickle charger solar panel on my roof. Recently I had an issue with my chassis batteries going dead. I got that resolved but would like to understand why the solar panel didnít pick up the slack. Does anyone know how to test it or where it connects to the chassis battery system?
Any help will be appreciated.
Rick
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Old 04-22-2023, 09:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ri-Di View Post
I have a small trickle charger solar panel on my roof. Recently I had an issue with my chassis batteries going dead. I got that resolved but would like to understand why the solar panel didnít pick up the slack. Does anyone know how to test it or where it connects to the chassis battery system?
Any help will be appreciated.
Rick
Put a VOM set to current (the clamp around type) on the positive battery cable at night. See if it is drawing power.

Then do the same test durinig the day. My 06 Winnebago Journey showed .3 amps draw with everything turned off and nothing plugged in.

In bright sunlight I saw a positive charge of .5 amps charging. SO not much. Unless there was 12 hours of full sunlight there is no way the solar would keep up.
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Old 04-22-2023, 10:16 AM   #3
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Good advice above.

Try this:

Measure battery terminal voltage with a cheap digital voltmeter. If the solar is charging your battery and keeping it full, voltage will be 13.2 volts or higher.

Early morning, voltage will be at its lowest.
Mid afternoon, voltage will be at its highest. If not 13.2 or higher, the solar is not keeping up. Decrease consumption or increase solar size.
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Old 04-22-2023, 07:32 PM   #4
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The easiest test would be to pull the inline fuse on a sunny day and check the voltage between the solar panel side of the fuse terminal and the battery ground. You should have 13+ volts. You could also pull the fuse and use the multimeter to check amps flowing through the fuse holder.
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Old 04-23-2023, 11:40 AM   #5
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Here comes the obvious question, have you checked the inline fuse? I had someone tell me that theirs had 2 inline fuses. I never checked mine so I can't say.
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Old 05-01-2023, 08:58 PM   #6
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You dont have a TIRE MINDER Sending unit with Alligator clips connected to your chassis battery post??? Forgot to take mine off when we got to our site in Fla. Batteries (8) went down to 4.8 volts, lucky they have shut-offs Crown AGM 6 volts. slow charge for 24 hrs. all is well Jim
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Old 05-01-2023, 09:22 PM   #7
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The solar panel Newmar installed on my coach is only 8 watts , so barely enough to keep up with parasitic draws from the engine/transmission ECM .

Parked in shade the panel will loose ground to the draws as well as overnight.

How long was the coach parked before the batteries were found to be dead?
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Old 05-02-2023, 04:02 AM   #8
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It was parked for 2-months with no use. Hopefully that is the real issue.
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Old 05-02-2023, 09:32 AM   #9
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It was parked for 2-months with no use. Hopefully that is the real issue.
If the coach is not equipped with a chassis battery disconnect , remove the negative chassis battery cable when you store for over a week .
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